Which Industries Are Creating The Least Jobs in the UK?


The UK is currently experiencing a record breaking period of employment, with over 34 million people in work. RS components analysed 30 years of data, hoping to find out which industries were growing in the UK and which were declining. Over the last thirty years, the general employment in the UK has risen by 28% and data shows a significant shift from manufacturing towards a more technology and services based industry. So, while real estate, technology and administration take the lead in employment, which UK industries are creating the least jobs?

Agriculture, fishery and forestry

With employment decreasing by 20% and only some 400,000 jobs remaining, Agriculture, fishery and forestry has been in a steady decline. Admittedly though, this is only 100,000 less than in the 1980’s. One very recent reason for this industry’s decline has been Brexit. Relying on seasonal EU employees, many of the jobs that foreign applicants previously took up are now vacant, meaning that productivity is lower. So much so, that the national farmers’ union is now pushing for a special visa system for EU farm workers.

Electricity, gas and air conditioning supply

Losing only 60,000 jobs, employment in electricity, gas and air conditioning supplies was never particularly in abundance. However, a 29% decline is something that might turn your head if you’re involved with the industry. It has been argued that some of this might be due to the rising popularity of renewable energies. For instance, the North Sea UK oil and gas industry’s employment has also plummeted rapidly, losing over 100,000 jobs in the last 5 years alone.


As we rely more on exporting services as a means of stimulating our economy, manufacturing seems to have taken a back-seat. Falling by 46% in the last thirty years (over 2.5 million jobs), the manufacturing industry has gone from being one of the UK’s most fruitful sources of employment to one of its least. Similarly to agriculture, Brexit has left an uncertainty as to the future of UK manufacturing, as over half of imports and exports are dealt with EU nations.

Mining and Quarrying

There are only approximately 60,000 jobs left in this industry and is therefore creating the least in the UK. Though it’s tempting to lay the state of the UK’s mining industry at the doors of the conservative party throughout the 80’s, the downfall of this industry is not exclusive to the UK. One of the reasons that mining has taken a hit recently is that China, whose initial demand lead to many mines being opened across the globe, is now oversupplied.



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Wednesday, 17 July 2019
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